Asia Crisis

China finds dynamite, guns in 11 monasteries-Xinhua

BEIJING, April 16 (Reuters) - Police have found guns, dynamite, bullets and satellite receivers hidden in 11 Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in China's northeastern Gansu province, state media reported on Wednesday.

The weapons caches were found over the past two days in monasteries of the Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, where riots between March 14 and 19 injured 94 people, Xinhua news agency said.

Monk-led protests in Lhasa early last month exploded into violent riots on March 14. The unrest rapidly spread to ethnic Tibetan populations in neighbouring areas, sparking a government crackdown that has drawn international condemnation.

Over 2,200 people surrendered to the police for joining the Gannan riots, but 1,870 have been released, Xinhua said. Over 100 monks are still being held among other detainees.

China has accused the Dalai Lama of orchestrating the violence in Tibet and other Tibetan areas of the country in a push for independence and to derail the Olympic Games which China hosts this summer.

But the Dalai Lama has rejected the accusations, speaking out against the use of violence, calling for talks with China and backing the Beijing Games. (Reporting by Emma Graham-Harrison)